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2011 NBA Finals: 12 Desperate Men for Which the Ring Is the Thing

Jordan ClarkeContributor IIIMay 31, 2011

2011 NBA Finals: 12 Desperate Men for Which the Ring Is the Thing

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    The 2011 NBA Finals is going to go a long way in determining the destiny of a few people...
    The 2011 NBA Finals is going to go a long way in determining the destiny of a few people...Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The 2011 NBA Finals begins on Tuesday in Miami. Who comes through when the money is on the line? Put up or shut up time? Pressure cooker? Believe it. 

    You can bet that the 12 guys on this list have the heat cranked up a little bit more than usual. Disagree? Got a better list? Bring it.

Tyson Chandler

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 25, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Tyson Chandler is the sports car that you thought you were getting if you turned 16. You turned 16 and Dad gave you his two-seater bucket truck with a camper and a driver side window that sticks when you slam it too hard.

    It's dependable though. When you turn 18, you're passing the truck down to your little brother.

    Chandler was the second pick in the NBA Draft in 2001 and has been in Chicago, New Orleans/Oklahoma City, and Charlotte before stopping in Dallas where he has been a contributor.

    Chandler needs a ring to be seen as a guy who can be a mainstay on an NBA team and not just a big body who has a chronic toe.

Juwan Howard

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    MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 28:  Juwan Howard #5 of the Miami Heat posts up Austin Daye #5 of the Detroit Pistons during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 28, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloa
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Howard is the only member of Michigan's Fab Five left playing in the NBA.

    When not picking his jaw off the ground wondering why Chris Webber called that last timeout in the 1993 NCAA championship, he's coming off of the bench for the Heat giving some quality minutes.

    Juwan's is desperate for a ring. Besides, if he wins, it will be the only championship not vacated during 1992-98 for Michigan basketball. Also, he'd be in good company with Glen Rice, a UM former baller who got his ring with the Lakers in 2000.

Peja Stojakovic

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 17:  Peja Stojakovic #16 of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 17, 2011 in Dallas, Te
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Peja is desperate for a ring because his last real shot was ended by the Lakers in 2002, during a classic but controversial series marred by allegations of corruption.

    Think he isn't ready for redemption?

    I'd bet on it...

Jason Terry

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 21:  Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks calls out while being guarded by Thabo Sefolosha #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the third quarter in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklah
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Jason Terry needs a ring for no other reason to claim his nickname "JET" from Kenny Smith. In winning a title, he can join a select group who have won an NBA and NCAA championship (Arizona, 1997).

    He can also once again prove that being traded from the Atlanta Hawks is the best career move any NBA player can make.

    Terry's last NBA Finals game was a Game 6 underwhelming performance against the Heat in 2006. The line? 7-25 from the field and 2-11 from three-point range.

Chris Bosh

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    MIAMI, FL - MAY 24:  Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 24, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Chris Bosh is goofy. Good guy, quiet, silent leader, but an enigma and a matchup nightmare. My personal X-factor in this series is desperate for a ring and some respect.

    I think 10 years from now, Bosh will be a borderline Hall of Famer. I think he will need a ring to help him get in. If the Heat don't approach six titles a la the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, Bosh is going to look like the extra wingman who gets in the way when you're out trying to pick up digits on the town.

Dwyane Wade

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    MIAMI, FL - MAY 24:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 24, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat won 101-93 in overti
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Wade is desperate for a ring because:

    1) He needs to prove 2006 wasn't a fluke.

    2) He can prove he can win without Shaq.

    3) He can prove that he can win with LeBron.

    4) So he can have one to put in each ear and avoid Charles Barkley calling to add him to his favorite five.

Rick Carlisle

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 21:  Head coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks reacts in the second half while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21,
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Carlisle is desperate for a ring so people can stop calling out "CABLE GUY" or wonder whether a flock of penguins are going to follow him to press conferences.

    The Jim Carrey ringer has been an NBA champion as a player with the Celtics (1986), and he was an NBA Coach of the Year (2002) with the Pistons.

    Carlisle has been snakebit more than a few times as a coach. As an assistant coach for the Pacers in 2000, he was beat out by Isiah Thomas for a job after Larry Bird stepped down.

    He had issues with management in Detroit a few years later as their head coach after two back to back 50-win seasons and got fired. Unfortunately, he's most known as the coach of the Pacers in 2004 during the Palace of Auburn Hills brawl.

    Carlisle is a man looking for redemption and he might be due.

Mark Cuban

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks reacts before taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Funny that an owner would get on this list. Consider though Mark Cuban, his ego and drive to win. The ultimate Maverick could go a long way in getting over 2006, where he was very critical about the officiating the in the series.

    If you really want to talk about juice, also consider the run he would get from winning. How great would it feel for him to be able to bring a title to Dallas, something Jerry Jones hasn't been able to do since 1995?

    You better believe he wants a ring. Wouldn't you love to see him in a shirt during the parade that says "I shot J.R.?"

Erik Spoelstra

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 18:  Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat looks on against the Chicago Bulls in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 18, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User e
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Erik Spoelstra could be the next Phil Jackson, or the next Stan Van Gundy depending on who you follow. He looks like a champion, acts like a champion, but we don't know if he can coach like a champion.

    He has at least two, arguably three Hall of Famers in Wade, James and Bosh. You kind of get that feeling that he was brought in just to not screw anything up. We all know how that tends to work out...

    In a series of this magnitude, mistakes get amplified and coaching could be the difference. Spoelstra needs a ring to convince us that he's been more than a glorified sock puppet being controlled by Pit Boss "Henson hands" Pat Riley.

Jason Kidd

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 23:  Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks sits on the bench before taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 23, 2011 in Oklahoma C
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Could the third time be the charm for Kidd? He's played the most playoff games of any active player who has not won an NBA title. This is his third Finals, and frankly his time to seperate himself from John Stockton, Karl Malone and Allen Iverson as modern peers who failed to win a title.

    Kidd's 2001-02 season with the New Jersey Nets is one of the finest all-around seasons for a point guard. His run now in Dallas could help push him over the top.

Dirk Nowitzki

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks looks over at teammate Jose Juan Barea #11 late in the fourth quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at A
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Dirk needs a ring because he too remembers the choke job he was part of in the 2006 Finals against the Heat.

    Whether he is a top 10 all-time player is a conversation for another day. He is however one of the best active players never to win a title.

    Winning a ring moves us more to the conversation of where Dirk fits among the greatest, and less from trying to determine if European soccer or basketball players flop more.

    If Dirk finds a way to beat the Heatles, Warsteiner will be short supply on the streets of Dallas.

LeBron James

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    MIAMI, FL - MAY 22:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Chicago Bulls in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User express
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Come on. You knew he would be first. Can I get a witness? Sure I can, we all will be witnesses in the next few days. It's clear that LeBron James has the most to lose if he fails to win an NBA Title against Dallas.

    Win, and he can validate "The Decision", be on the way to having a legitimate conversation about best player ever, and shut up guys like me who like you, but can't openly root for you because you haven't won anything.

    Lose LeBron, and we get to have this same song and dance for the next calendar year, we put you closer to Karl Malone than Michael Jordan, and the public continues to wonder when you will ever get out of your swaddling clothes and claim the throne that your people has prepared us for.

    This should be one interesting series.

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